- Card series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
- City: Washington, D.C.
- Team: Senators
- League: National League
Albert Wagner (1871-1928) followed his kid brother Johannes (Honus) into the big leagues in 1898. The Pittsburgh native got his professional start in Steubenville of the Interstate League in 1895 when he was already 23. He moved to the Warren, PA entry in the Iron and Oil League the same season and later played infield and some outfield for the Canton Deubers and Wheeling Nailers back in the Interstate League. Butts then moved up to the Eastern League’s Toronto Canadians/Canucks for the 1896-97 campaigns before getting his shot in MLB with the NL’s Senators. His best game came after Washington dealt him to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms later in the ’98 season. Wagner hit his only home run, doubled and scored three times in a 9-5 win on July 4. Honus, two years Butts’ junior, had begun with the same Steubenville squad in 1895 after Al urged the manager to give him a tryout. Both Wagner boys had been barbers. Honus and Butts parted company the same year when the shortstop-for-the-ages moved on to the Michigan State League and a call-up in ’97 to the Louisville Colonels and a National League career in baseball’s stratosphere. Al returned to Pittsburgh and his barber chair.
- Butts’ “career” stats included a .226 average in 74 MLB games
- However modest Butts’ numbers, he can be rightly regarded as an all-time great scout